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Don't BOGO with that COUPON, DUDE, or How to use Buy One Get One sales.

Updated on December 28, 2017

Typical Bogo Items

BOGO Items
BOGO Items | Source

What does BOGO mean

For those of you who have just come out of some state of hibernation or are possibly time travelers, here is a short overview of BOGO sales and how to use them and what to watch out for.

BOGO is a simple acronym that is used all over the US to mean, Buy One and Get One .....

Following the BOGO on a sign are the real details of the sale and what you need to consider when you are deciding whether it is a deal for you.

The PRICING HOOK to Consider with a BOGO Sale

When you walk into a store with a BOGO sale, whether they are selling shoes, Jeans, or other items, whatever, you have to consider the way you must consider the price of the two items you select.

With a BOGO sale, if you select one item then you can get one of Equal or Lesser Value at a discounted price that is based on the price of the costlier item.

The Different Types of BOGO Sales

Types of BOGO Sales

The best and most popular BOGO sale with customers is the famous and most used;


This sale is the one that you really need to stop and consider. It means Buy One and Get One FREE.

This one has the best savings in that you get to buy the item that you wanted in the first place and that you are allowed to buy another one just like it, or another different item at no extra cost to you.


This is a BOGO sale that you will see the most often and it means that you get that one item that you wanted, and if you want a second item, either the same or of a lower value, you will get the second item at a discount of 50% or one half off of it's original price.

BOGO Sales at lower discount percentages

There are some stores that will even have other discount percentages that are even lower than 50%, like 1/3-Off or 25%-Off, but you should remember that they approach the point of diminishing returns for you, the shopper, with these much lower discounts, so take care when you see these lower BOGO offerings.

BOGO - This aisle only!

Sometimes, after you get into the store, you will find that the BOGO sale is limited to items in a certain area of the store. So, you go back outside and there it is on the sign, in microscopic print that they have limited the sale. I avoid these on the principle of the matter and refuse to buy from business' that use this trick to get the customer into the store.

Coupon Organizer

Coupon Organizer for Grocery Shopping, Canvas Moroccan Pattern, Mint Color
Coupon Organizer for Grocery Shopping, Canvas Moroccan Pattern, Mint Color

My wife and i save and use coupons and we found this organizer to be a great aid in keeping our collection of coupons up to date.


Look Out for defective merchandise

You need to know the reason for a merchandiser to have a BOGO sale.

Sometimes the merchandise is regular product but often a retailer will stock up with much if not all of the BOGO merchandise being seconds or damaged merchandise.

You should ask and even if they deny that the merchandise is inferior, you should always try it on and carefully inspect for defects ir damage. I love it when a sales person responds with the old: "As far as I Know ............." and then bat their eyes at you innocently.

Remember, quite often these sales will have a NO-RETURN policy listed somewhere, so you could be stuck with something that is no longer the great deal that you though it was.

Calculate the real Savings of a BOGO

The thing that you need to do is sit down and consider what the real savings is when you consider making a BOGO purchase. Here are a few ways for you to understand the relative savings and how to maximize them.

Pricing the Second Item

To maximize the savings of a BOGO sale, you should always pick the second item to be at the same price of the main one or as close to the same as possible.

Below is a table illustrating the true savings you get with different BOGO sales, including the additional cost of the increased sales tax.


SALE Def. for same price Items
Item 1 Price
Item 2 Price
Item 2 Reduced Price
BOGO 50%
SALE Def for 2nd item at 75% of first
BOGO 50%
This Table gives examples of the savings for typical BOGO SALES were you get the second item at a reduced price because of the purchase of the first item.

Be LOGICAL and Think

This is my last warning.

Before you walk into that giant shoe store (or whatever type of store) to shop for that great BOGO bargain, you need to ask yourself one important question, and that is:


Often, after thinking this over, you may just decide to walk away and wait for the next such sale when you really need two "Things"!

Coupon for Charities, Be a Hero

OK! Here I'm going to contradict the whole thesis of this article.


If you are looking for a way to do good things for other people who are in need,then you might consider starting a new Hobby.

Look into the idea of Couponing for things that your local Church or other charity can use to then hand out to those people that are less fortunate than yourself.

So many people can use that; shampoo, detergent, dog food, sardines, soups, noodles, beans, crackers, candies, hair curlers, hair brushes, batteries, and other items that you, yourself, don't actually use or need.

Think about it for a minute.

You have a few hours available each week that you aren't really doing anything of importance with your time. So, why not do a little couponing for charity.

Look up how to get the most for your money.

Collect some coupons.

Take them to the right stores, and collect those savings.

Take the majority of the items, the ones that you don't really need yourself, and give them to your favorite charities.

Be a Hero.

Couponing at WalMart

Extreme Couponing for Beginners

Using Store Flyers for Coupon deals


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    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      6 years ago from Ruskin Florida

      Thanks for the kind words, Hyphenbird. I hope the information in my Hub can help people use these BOGO sales to their advantage,

    • Hyphenbird profile image

      Brenda Barnes 

      6 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

      Hi Don. Thanks for the great tips. I especially love your suggestion to use the BOGO sales to help charities. I have a very small family and am very careful in buying or even receiving items we will not use. Sometimes in grocery stores items are advertised BOGO but the consumer can get one at half price. I love that. It helps people like me who have only a couple people in the household. Your chart is very handy and an avid shopper could print it out and take it with them. You have a great Hub here.

    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      6 years ago from Ruskin Florida

      Healthylife2, thanks for reading my article and commenting. And, I agree with you, the deals do often seem to be the ones that you don't need right at the moment.

      But, I do feel that we all could still "save a little here and a little there" if we understand how the world of coupons work and how we can take advantage of them, when, of course, they are the right ones available at the right time.

      Good luck with your search for savings.

    • healthylife2 profile image

      Healthy Life 

      6 years ago from Connecticut, USA

      This was helpful as this is a year of trying to save money wherever possible. These are great deals especially when it is on paper towel or something that lasts. However these deals seem to always be on things I don't use but will keep looking.

    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      6 years ago from Ruskin Florida

      Nancy B- Thanks for the comment.

    • Nancy B. profile image

      Nancy B. 

      6 years ago from Kansas City, MO

      The tables showing the actual dollar amounts are a great help. Good informational Hub.


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